That time I interviewed Rene Rancourt//Fan Friday Link Up!

This Friday, I decided to link up with Venus Trapped in Mars‘ Fan Friday Link Up! Every Friday, bloggers (mostly girls!) link up and share different sports related posts. I first saw it on Kailagh’s blog, and I loved the idea so much I just had to join in. I think it will be a fun way to switch up posts at the end of the week, and I’ll have something to write about every Friday…I’ve got a LOT of sports stories :)

Anyway, since the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals, I figure I’d finally publish an interview I did last summer with Bruin’s national anthem singer, Rene Rancourt. Rene is a really cool guy. He was at the Spinners singing the anthem one night, and when he had a few minutes before he went out to sing, he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!

He’s known throughout Boston and the world for his sequined bow ties and fist pumps when he sings. It really is incredible. He’s a legend, having sung the anthem at B’s games for nearly 40 years and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Rene is so awesome that he got the entire Boston Garden to sing along with him after the Marathon attacks:

So, without further ado, here’s my interview with the man himself, Rene Rancourt!

Me: How did you get your start in singing?

Rene: That started way back in high school, I could never get away. Even as a young person in high school, used to sing at hockey games, you know, up in the state of Maine, and so I could never get away from the national anthem, no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up singing the national anthem.

Me: Have you ever messed up the national anthem?

Rene: Oh, a couple of times I have, yeah. And it’s a real shaky feeling when it happens. And the reason it happens is that you know the words so well that you don’t concentrate and when you get out there…boom…nothing, you know, emptiness. So, to this day–I’ve been doing it many many years–I still re-sing it, I always go over the words like I don’t even know them, you know? Cause, you never know.

Me: Have you been a life-long hockey fan?

Rene: Not especially. I mean, I’m an opera singer, so my interest has always been music. Studying at Boston University, studying opera, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get away from hockey and from sports and from singing for the Red Sox and so forth, so you learn to enjoy it after awhile, even if I’m not a mad sports fan like my wife is.

Me: How hard was it to learn the Canadian national anthem in French?

Rene: Oh yeah, well, it was easy. You know why? Because when I was a child, we used to sing the Canadian national anthem only in French, we didn’t even know it in English. French Canadians from the state of Maine, we sang in French. So when I came to Boston, I had to learn “O Canada” in English! It didn’t exist in English for me.

Me: When did you come up with your signature pump move?

Rene: When I saw one of the Boston Bruins players do that. He scored a goal and he did that pump, you know, and I said “boy, I’ve got to start doing that” because that’s the greatest expression of “YEAH MAN!” So, it’s a habit now. They think I invented it, but you know I’m the last guy to have invented that, I stole it from someone.

So, there you have it! Rene was so friendly and really seemed interested in the conversation. I just thought it was fun to interview such an interesting character.

Bonus: Since he scored two goals on Wednesday (but I really don’t want to talk about that game…..), here’s a picture of me and Milan Lucic! I hope he plays like that for the rest of the Cup!

he's so tall!

he’s so tall!

xoxo, Karoline

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We want the Cup!

Orr

Bobby Orr’s iconic shot–better known as “The Goal”–to win the 1970 Stanley Cup for the Bruins [Wikipedia]

Tonight, the Bruins and the Blackhawks will commence the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Being from Massachusetts, there’s always been a strong hockey culture around, but it’s never more evident than when the Bruins are in the playoffs–especially the Finals. It’s an exciting time and it’s pretty much expected that families around New England will be huddled around their TV’s to watch the excitement unfold.

I think it was a shock to not just Bruins fans but hockey fans everywhere when the B’s swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final last week. The big, bad Penguins with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang on their side. Well, they definitely proved one thing: defense wins games. By shutting down some of the best scorers in the league, the Bruins effectively eroded Pittsburgh’s confidence. Hopefully it works the same way in Chicago.

In preparation of tonight’s game, I’ll be watching great Bruins moments from games of old and making sure that whenever the analysts on TV say anything that sounds definitive that I knock-on-wood. Because we all know: superstitions win playoffs. Nathan Horton definitely understands that concept–remember when he poured Boston water on Vancouver ice in the 2011 Stanley Cup?

I think that that B’s just have to go out there, set the pace, and show the Blackhawks that they’re not going to back down easily. After all, we areBostonStrong-Wordmark

xoxo, Karoline

 

Happy birthday, Fenway!

You’re looking “SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!” for your age.

Today, Fenway Park turns 100 years old. It’s more than just the home of the Red Sox, it’s a spot that holds so many memories for so many people not only here in Massachusetts, but around the world. At Fenway, I’ve seen a lot of baseball games. I’ve seen the Sox win and lose there, but it’s always a magical experience.

I have a lot of amazing Fenway memories and moments, from seeing a couple clutch grand slams to every time I get to belt out “Sweet Caroline” in the bottom of the eighth. However, my absolute favorite Fenway moment was when I got to run the bases at the Futures at Fenway game. That one is pretty unbeatable.

Yesterday, the Red Sox opened Fenway to the public for the Fenway Open House, and I went with my dad and brother Walter.  We had a blast exploring the park, walking the warning track, and getting up close and personal with the Green Monster. It was a great day. I’ve got some pictures of our day below! :)

The open house was an amazing opportunity to see, touch, and experience the historic ballpark.

Pesky's pole!

The weather was perfect. Warm, sunny...the perfect spring day!

"I always wanted to do that!" Walter after he spit out of the dugout.

It was so much fun to spend the day with my dad and Walt! Especially since I don't see them all the time cause I'm at school.

I totally put my initials in the dirt.

We toured the visiting clubhouse, AKA where the Yankees are hanging out right now!

The Green Monster...up close and personal.

Smiles all around!

Of course I had to get a picture with the cutout of Jacoby!

Pretending to have my dream job in the press box!

Most pictures were taken by my dad, Chris!

We had an amazing day, and I just want to say a big THANK YOU to the Red Sox and Fenway Park for opening their gates to the fans and letting them explore their amazing home. Fenway is a true gem, and it’s looking amazing for 100 years. Here’s to the next century of awe-inspiring Boston baseball!

What’s your favorite Fenway moment? Share in the comments!

xoxo, Karoline

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!

This past weekend, I went to two St. Patrick’s Day parades.  One in Newport, RI and one in South Boston.  Both parades have become huge cultural events in New England, and it was so much fun to experience both.

The Newport parade was on Saturday.  I was babysitting for some friends down in Rhode Island, and we went to the parade that morning.  The kids loved it, and it was a fun day.  On Sunday, I went to the parade in Southie with friends from school.  We took the T into the city, and got to watch from my friends’ brothers’ apartment that was right on the route! It was awesome!

How did you celebrate St. Patty’s day this year?

xoxo, Karoline

What does a conductor do?

Image taken from betsysview.com

Tonight, I’ll be attending opening night of Holiday Pops in Boston. I’m so excited! I’m going with my friend Andy, and while we’re there, we’ll be working with 980WCAP and are going to get to interview Keith Lockhart, the world-famous conductor of the Boston Pops! I am so excited!

Image taken from bostoncentral.com

I was talking it over with my roommate this morning, and we came up with a bunch of funny questions for Keith.  What made him want to become a conductor? Has he ever made a big mistake on stage and have the band follow along? And–perhaps the most pressing question of them all–doesn’t his arms get tired?!  We came up with five or six more, but I won’t ruin the surprise.  You’ll just have to listen to WCAP to find out!

I’m beyond excited to see the Pops. I’ve never been to any of their live performances before, but I’ve seen them on TV and they’re amazing. It’s sure to be an amazing experience!

xoxo,

Karoline

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